» Zyma Amien’s solo exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum, ‘Real’ lives and “Ordinary” objects: Partisan art-making strategies with garment workers of the Western Cape – Continuation is part of the SASOL New Signatures Art Competition’s previous winner for 2016 continues the journey from where the winning work Paying Homage left off. The exhibition is a grand gesture of what the artist was preoccupied with then in a discursive journey that has also fed into her Masters studies. Presently she goes on an all out assault discourse tackling the reality of the garment factory worker. This is the exclusive interview I conducted with her on the morning of 31 August 2017•
Zyma Amien’s solo exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum, ‘Real’ lives and “Ordinary” objects: Partisan art-making strategies with garment workers of the Western Cape – Continuation is part of SASOL New Signatures Art Competition 2016 overall winner’s solo exhibition and accompanies the main 2017 art competition exhibition. A competition which historically speaking this year takes a step in an uncharted territory in South Africa with regard to this year’s winner Lebohang Khanye. Of course art by its internal nature of conception is very individualist and subjective. And as I have always said somewhere in my many conversations with both of those within the circle of this industry and those at the peripheral – it is an unfair affair from the context of competition as the artist is a product of social circumstances. The artist has to battle with social circumstances of their birth and art education in order to emerge amongst the best in a hostile industry that can proclaim you a contemporary artist at this instance only to replace you with another artist a few month later if not weeks or days. However Kganye’s win of this year’s edition of SASOL New Signatures has its merit. Talk of the charm of using a medium that was already there but pushing it further in an attempt to see what can be achieved with it. Encapsulate it with a personal anecdote and what you have is a balanced piece with both content and form intact. Although video as an art form in this country has not really taken off with the mainstream art supporting society its presence is being significantly felt here and there for its performative mode. Like the late Dot Vermeulen before her, we are about to find out where Lebohang Kganye will take video installation come 2018 this time of the year.